Justin Cohen, MS, MA
As chief of the Office of Communications and Media Relations and Patient Recruitment (OCMR), Justin Cohen is responsible for overseeing conceptual direction, strategic initiatives and the day-to-day communications operation for the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, the largest hospital in the world dedicated to clinical research.
NIH Clinical Center communications and recruitment serve diverse audiences: patients and families, potential patients and healthy volunteers, staff and visiting health professionals, and a wide range of other personal and professional visitors.
These communications span an array of activities including media relations, responding to public inquiries and the development of a broad program of informational materials/messaging in print, online and through social media. He also directs internally-focused communications and is the senior communications advisor to Clinical Center leadership.
His department handles rapid response information campaigns for significant public health events such as the treatment of patients infected with or exposed to the Ebola virus at the Clinical Center. OCMR was also recognized for its critical role in supporting the documentary series "First in Human" produced in 2017 by the Discovery Channel and its preeminent role in supporting patient safety communications.
During his tenure, the Clinical Center’s social media presence has been expanded and enhanced, and the hospital’s website has become an increasingly effective tool for showcasing the complex operation and interaction of the many departments and offices in the Clinical Center.
Cohen’s area of oversight was expanded in early 2017 to include the Office of Patient Recruitment. This service helps researchers and investigators at NIH identify and locate potential volunteers who qualify for inclusion in specific clinical trials and research studies.
Before joining the Clinical Center in 2013, he served for nearly 10 years as communications director for the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Prior to his federal service, Mr. Cohen spent a number of years in diversified communications management with two D.C.-area nonprofit professional societies. He also held a number of progressively responsible positions in the office of former U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), whom he credits for sparking his interest in public health.
Cohen earned his BA degree with honors in political science from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. He completed an MA degree in political science at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, and then decided to advance and refine his educational attainment by earning an MS in Health and Social Behavior from Harvard University School of Public Health.
Cohen is dedicated to ensuring that his office helps improve the experience for patients and staff.
“The unique partnership between patients and researchers at the Clinical Center has resulted in historic discoveries and treatments that are now common practice throughout the world. We are determined to do everything we can to further benefit recruitment, patient safety and clinical outcomes,” said Cohen.